With the uncertainty regarding Carson Palmer, the Bengals are believed to address quarterback at some point during the 2011 NFL Draft. We suspect the team would have drafted a quarterback regardless even if Palmer didn't demand a trade, for the sole purpose of developing a quality backup quarterback.
One of those quarterbacks that could appear on the Bengals radar was Ryan Mallet, who could be available as late as the third round -- a reasonable spot to draft a backup quarterback, or the team's future quarterback, as it may be now.
The Bengals could be one of several teams interested in Mallett, who will be facing hard questions during next week's NFL Combine regarding the lack of leadership and illegal drug use, writes CBSSports.com's Rob Rang.
Of course, of greater importance to Mallett's final grade will be how he handles the team (and, quite frankly, the media) interviews. Mallett is going to get hit with lots of questions about his so-called lack of leadership and reports of illegal drug use. The poise and honesty with which Mallett handles these questions could the difference in his landing in the first round -- as his passing ability warrants -- or slipping into the second or even third round.